How’s your summer?
We’ve enjoyed summer weeks of lovely family and friends staying with us from far-flung places such as UK, Cyprus, Seattle and Vancouver…the pic above was taken during a short break we enjoyed at Harrison Hot Springs.
I promised a few ‘wow’ thoughts – here’s another.
Phil preached a challenging sermon on offence a few weeks ago; combine that with John Bevere’s book and boom!
Isn’t it so easy to be offended? From a crime against us to ‘she ignored me in the church foyer.’
I am challenged to acknowledge how offence can affect EVERYTHING.
Offence is the thief of abounding love, of freedom, of joy.
Offence takes a hold of me and drains life from me.
Offence makes me self-centered.
It becomes my filter with which I view the world.
And soon enough – offence goes deep and takes root, and the root has a name.
That toxic root becomes an acidic tree.
Oh and bitterness, not only affects me, but those around me.
If we let that bitter tree grow. We live life with a critical heart. We’re moody. Hypersensitive…
Fixating – because bitterness flourishes in the soil of justification. And as we replay the movie of scripted speeches and justified revenge – it becomes a blockbuster of bitterness.
And while we love to blame the one who has offended us – the only one who can take the purposes of God’s plan from me is ME, the only one who can take the purposes of God’s plan from you is YOU.
Bitterness travels in a pack, so not only our emotions – but also health can be affected too. Scientists have even concluded that bitterness, if left unchecked affects our hormones and immunity.
Offence and bitterness suffocate the life out of us – swallowing up the spacious places God has promised.
UNTIL we hear the Holy Spirit – the Counselor whisper – hand it over, hand them over.
Forgiveness is the answer – it sets US free. We have been forgiven much.
Hand it over, Hand them over… To Him and see the promised LIFE released in you.
I wonder if you recognize some of those roots and fruits – I know I do.
Lord, give me courage to be honest. I give you permission to shine a light on who I am offended with, reveal unforgiveness or bitterness. Show me where roots of bitterness have taken hold, affecting me and those around me. Bring me into the promised spacious place as I release my offence and those offending me. AMEN.
You are loved,
“Do not be afraid to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal any unforgiveness or bitterness. The longer you hide it, the stronger it will become and the harder your heart will grow. Stay tenderhearted. How? Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. —EPHESIANS 4:31-32”